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[Free Workshop] College Applications Simply Explained

[Free Workshop] College Applications Simply Explained
One of the two of my free classes, College Applications Simply Explained, had to be rescheduled last week because I was sick. So, if you missed the one I did last Tuesday, and really wished you could have joined me, you're in luck! You can ...
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Debt Free and Tuition Free College

Debt Free and Tuition Free College
Debt free, tuition free college doesn't sound possible, I know. But, it is! Follow these pointers and read about how Tracey did it! Parents need to be engaged in the process. ​ Learn how to homeschool high school BEFORE high school. ​ Get encourageme...
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How to Get Scholarship Offers

How to Get Scholarship Offers
How would you feel if your child sent out 7 college applications and got these results? 7 applications sent ​ 2 colleges offered half-price ​ 1 college offered quarter-price ​ 1 college offered full tuition ​ And, they haven't even heard from all the...
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Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Homeschool Records + Talent = Julliard Dreams Fulfilled

Getting into Julliard is like getting into Harvard. You really have to have it ALL - academics, special talent, passion, and luck! Anytime you are trying to get into a highly selective school, it requires some extra effort from both the parent and the child.

Recently I received this lovely thank you note from a Gold Care Club member. Their family achieved wonderful success!
"I have enjoyed being a gold card club member for years, spoke to you on the phone and I listened to some of your webinars, used the course description and transcript templates and information on SAT's. I thank you for your help in my journey of making all this ready for applications. My daughter and I made a detailed portfolio for her that she sent to 7 places where she was invited to audition live, and was successfully accepted to most of the Conservatories. She was accepted into The Julliard School by her audition and then they accepted her high school portfolio without any questions. She placed into all the academic courses at the higher level. She is now happily studying a bachelors of music at The Julliard School, fulfilling her dream. I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to home school her and thanks to you, I knew how to present her schooling and everything else in such a way that I did not need to sacrifice the wonderful home school curriculum that gave her a strong Christian world view and foundation in Christ. ~ A"

This Gold Care Club Member took advantage of the telephone consultations. She also learned on her own, by consistently watching the 5 monthly classes that change on the 20th of every month. She purchased the Comprehensive Record Solution, that helped her to make a detailed portfolio. And she provided the moral compass her daughter needed to succeed in the future.

The teenager was homeschooled independently, which allowed her to pursue Delight Directed Learning in music, which then enabled her to succeed at the highest levels. Learn more about Delight Directed Learning.

Delight Directed Learning
Maximize the Fun Factor
Encouraging Delight Directed Learning at the High School Level

Coordinating Coffee Break Book on Amazon:
Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning

Here is what I suggest.

  • Prepare thorough homeschool records.

  • Encourage your child's interests and talents.

  • Prepare to have your child's dreams fulfilled too!

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Guiding Your Child Through College Applications

Guiding Your Child Through College Applications

Guiding Your Child Through College Application

It's tempting to think you can let your child go to fill out college applications, and they will be mature enough to handle it from there, but that's not how it normally happens. There are so many details, deadlines, and complicated forms, it's difficult for a young adult to figure out the system. Working on it without help can make a difference in scholarship awards. The help of a parent is a key ingredient in success.

Because the process is overwhelming, young adults will often need another adult to come alongside and help with the details - much like we rely on others to help us with complicated matters like tax returns, or whatnot. Most advisers suggest that you sit down with your teen once a week, to go over deadlines and progress. Make sure that each piece of the application process is sent by your family and received by the college. Here is a general list of each item they need to consider, so carefully check the deadlines for each item.

Application Fee
School Specific Supplement
Official Homeschool Transcript
Athletic or Art Supplement or Requirements
Course Descriptions
Activity and Award List
SAT scores
ACT scores
AP scores
SAT Subject Test Scores
CLEP Scores
Other Transcript 1
Other Transcript 2
Community College Transcript
Course Descriptions
Letter of Recommendation 1
Letter of Recommendation 2
Letter of Recommendation 3
Mid-year Grades
FAFSA - January
Reply to College
Deposit to the college you choose
Thank you note to interviewer
Final Transcript - June after school is complete

Once you start getting admission notices and scholarship awards, help your child weigh the pros and cons of each school. Review the total cost of each school out-of-pocket. For each school, identify the cost of attendance and the cost of housing. Then figure out the financial aid they have provided. That way you can determine the actual cost of attending each individual school.  Then check your financial situation, reviewing how you will fund college, to determine what you can actually afford to pay for college when the first bill it due.

Cost of Attendance
A. Tuition
B. Fees
C. Books
D. Extra Course Fees
E. Other fees (parking, etc)
TOTAL Cost of Attendance

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3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

Dual enrollment classes on the transcript

Use an acronym before the class title to clearly show which classes were taken at the community college. That shows that senior year classes are harder than last year - a good trend to show.  You can read about that trend in this blog post, Acronym for Outside Classes.  For the classes your student is currently enrolled in, replace the grade with IP to indicate those classes that have been started at a community college, or use R if registered but classed haven't started. That way they can see what your child has done so far, and what they can expect to see in the future. Read more about that here: Sending Transcripts for Senior Year Applications. When you apply to college, you must send your homeschool transcript, that includes both homeschool classes and community college classes. A transcript must also be sent from the community college directly to the university where your child is applying (there is usually a small fee for that, perhaps $5 each.) List it on the activity list too, something like this: Dual Enrollment Student at Tennessee Community College.

Dual enrollment classes on the comprehensive records

Copy and paste the course description from the community college online catalog. Paste it into Notepad first, if possible, to remove any funky formatting, then paste it into your own comprehensive record document. You don't have to be as detailed with community college classes, but you can be as long as you like. Some parents choose to leave out anything other than the online course description. I prefer to have people list at least the community college textbook for those classes.

Dual enrollment applications to the university

You are applying as a high school senior, as if your classes were taken at a high school, not at the community college.  You are applying as a freshman UNLESS you have taken a community college class after high school graduation. Even one college credit after graduation can change your status from "freshman" to "transfer" and eliminate your chances of some college scholarships. While you are applying as a freshman, that means you can get freshman scholarships and freshman housing - a very big deal. You don't want your children living with college seniors!  But at the same time, dual enrollment classes will allow your child to be more advanced academically, and take appropriate classes the following year. My son, for example, applied as a freshman but was a college junior academically, so he was allowed to get freshman student housing but also take junior level college courses when he registered.

If your child is taking dual enrollment classes, be sure to talk to them every day about what is going on. If possible, take classes with another homeschooler (preferably of the same gender) so your child isn't going into classes alone. More tips on that here: Community College Success

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Budget for College Applications

Budget for College Applications

Budget for College Applications

It's normal to pay $30-$100 per college application

Don't think about it as your homeschool budget, think of it as a down payment on the total cost of college - as if by applying you will get more scholarships. It's possible to have the application cost deferred, if you ask. Most colleges will defer the cost of application if you simple go for a college visit. You can also ask the college to waive the application fee. That's your word of the day - use the word "waive".  That can be a simple phone call from your child saying "I'd really like to apply to your university because (add 2-3 words to fill in the blank) and I was wondering if there is a way you can waive the application fee?"

It's normal to pay $12 to send test scores to colleges

You may have to pay to have test results sent to each college. Again, think of it as part of your "college budget" and an investment in college costs to reduce the overall amount you need to pay, and cut the overall student loan you might need. It's cheaper to choose colleges first, and send the send the scores as you take the test so it's free. I suggest that you always make sure the child will do well on the test before sending scores, though. So take the test at home a few times, timed, so you know he will do well before taking the test for real and sending the scores sight unseen.

It's normal for vacations to include college visits

The best scholarships come from visiting a college, so you know it's a good fit, and the college may provide scholarships. You can use details from a college visit in the application essay, which can also help earn scholarships. The cost of college visits vary widely, of course, but you can save money by planning ahead. Try to combine vacations with college visits. If that is not possible, remember that visiting colleges can have a huge financial award. Again, think of it in the context of your budget for college, not as a frivolous expense.

It's normal to save money by visiting, applying and sending test scores

You may need to pay for college applications and test scores, but in the long run that process can save you a lot of money. If the 4th college that you apply to gives you a great scholarship, it will be worth the application fee. If the test scores you send earn a $10,000 automatic scholarship, it will be worth the fee to send the scores. Try to think it the big picture as you plan your college application budget.

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Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

It's that time of year again, when my Gold Care Club members are graduating their children. I love hearing about their successes, and I feel their uncertainty about facing the empty nest after years of homeschooling. I got this sweet note from Jennifer recently. Check it out!
With a heavy heart I am writing you an email to say goodbye.  My last home schooled child is graduating in two weeks.  I have learned so much from you and your millions of resources.  O.K., maybe not millions, but your newsletter, website, and books.  Then the added bonus of meeting you when our family had just moved to the Seattle area.   You were a lifesaver then and your advice and amazing tutelage for transcripts was far beyond any type of  thank you I could give in return.

I have and will continue to tell friends and family, who are interested in home schooling about your site. You are kind and full of grace to offer this invaluable service.  You made applying to colleges and sending transcripts a breeze.  You prepared me for what our family was in store for with college admissions from the time my son was a freshman in high school.  It was a bit tedious to write a page about each class, but boy it was worth it not to wait until the kids were seniors to tackle the transcript mess.

What a relief when the application process began.  All I had to do as a counselor was reach into the home school transcript drawer and fax the information over to the various colleges. Let me add the colleges were VERY impressed.

When someone has such a large impact on your family, you need to let them know.  I met you when were at the home school college fair.  I cannot remember the date or location. Yet you saved me from making a huge mistake and I really appreciate you redirecting my thinking. My prayers go to you and your business.  You are invaluable!

Thank you again!  Keep up the good work!
Forever in your debt,

If you are graduating a student and would like to share your successes, I'd love to share your story too!

If you are still in the thick of it, how can I help?
My millions of resources: Homeschool Freebies
My newsletter: The HomeScholar Record
My books:

If you are still early in the high school years, please take Jennifer's advice - it's worth it not to wait until your children are seniors to tackle everything. Start early, so all you have to do is reach into your homeschool drawer and send colleges the information they need.

Are you feeling confident? Or do you feel like you need some help in the coming year?

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How Can I Get My Homeschooler into College?

How Can I Get My Homeschooler into College?

Is your child entering junior or senior year? College is on the horizon! Click on the video below to learn how to get your child accepted into college.

Is your child in the middle of college applications? Or have they already been accepted? Feel free to brag! Let me know in the comments below!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!

For college application help, you might like my online training class: Real Fast College Applications (Online Training) - only $15.00!
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45 Tips for Earning Big Scholarships

45 Tips for Earning Big Scholarships
The best scholarships come to those with the biggest effort. If your child has a college interview, be prepared! Read these 45 tips for earning big college scholarships and be well prepared for any college interview or scholarship competition.

You've done a great job educating your kids. They are bright, intelligent, well socialized and have an area of passionate interest. They have all the required classes, great grades, excellent test scores, and wonderful letters of recommendation. You have kept complete and accurate homeschool records.

That means your child might be invited to a scholarship competition. They could be invited to interview at a prestigious school. A college may want a thirty minute interview for admission, or an eight hour competition for scholarships. How do you prepare for something like that?

Read More: How to Win a Scholarship Competition and Ace the Admission Interview




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Sinking Homeschoolers Feeling the Squeeze

Sinking Homeschoolers Feeling the Squeeze
Do you feel like you are SINKING? Are you feeling the squeeze?

Do you feel like you are SINKING? Are you feeling the squeeze?

Many homeschoolers are sinking financially.  You know, SINK – single income, numerous kids!

My family functioned on a single income, so when we started thinking about college for two boys, we knew we’d have to come up with some creative ways to fund it. I spent a lot of time researching scholarships, and developed some great strategies for success that ultimately helped both of our sons receive full-tuition scholarships to their first-choice universities.

If you are discouraged by the costs of college for your children, don't just panic, take action.  The dishes in your sink don't wash themselves, right? Scholarships take some work too!

The best and biggest scholarships come from the colleges.  You can get more information in Getting the BIG Scholarships, available as a downloadable online classKindle ebook, and DVD.

Smaller scholarships are available, and can teach the value of hard work.  You can get more information in College Scholarships for High School Credit, available as a downloadable online class or on Kindle ebook.

Both kinds of scholarships are heavily invested in the "first come, first served" system.  Make sure you learn about both kinds of scholarships during the early years of high school.  For seniors, it means applying to colleges as soon as possible when their senior year begins.

First come, first served. Seniors, apply now for best success.  Don't delay!

If your child is younger than a senior, my book on College Admission and Scholarships will explain the whole process to you.  No worries!  You'll get this figured out!

For more information about how your child can earn great college scholarships, watch my video, “Getting the BIG Scholarships,” available both as an online class or DVD.
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Successful College Applications

Successful College Applications
Check this out!  One of my Gold Care Club members just found out that she is getting some AMAZING college scholarships!  This is a the senior portrait of Rebecca's daughter.

How does that happen? Here are some tips for success.  When Rebecca wrote to me about her daughter, she spoke about things that worked well (or not) and gave some great suggestions for others.

What can we glean from this successful homeschool to college application?

October 26th

Dear Lee,
I was a member of your Gold Care Club for quite some time, and I wanted to let you know how much your information and advice helped us.

My daughter Emily is now a senior and is going full-time at the local community college. She'll graduate with an AA and she's been on the President's List every quarter and is a National Merit Commended student.

For the last 2 years we've been researching schools and their requirements for homeschoolers.  Finally, the list was pared to 6.  We worked extremely this summer to get all of her applications in by mid-September.   She was immediately accepted to 2 private Catholic universities and offered their highest merit scholarships.  We're still waiting on the public school, the extreme reach school and 2 more private schools.  Also, since she'll be applying for the Honors Program in whichever school she chooses, we hope there will be even more scholarships attached.

My family keeps thanking me for all my leg-work, but I never could have achieved this without YOUR initial research!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with folks and providing a service for those who are striving to meet all the needs of their children.  I don't think I would ever have considered private schools until I met you and heard how feasible it really is.

The only thing I would disagree with you on is the CLEP tests.  Most of the admissions officers I spoke with over the last year (too many...)  were not impressed with those as much as AP or IB tests.  Emily took them as an indicator of honors standing but she won't use those for credit.  I would urge teens to study for and pass AP instead.

Nevertheless, your information on college search, course descriptions, reading lists, homeschool profiles, testing, grading, extra-curriculars, and documentation really helped us so very much.  What also helped was simply your example.  You had high expectations of your sons, gave them the tools to meet those goals, then shared your experience with all of us.  This allowed me to see the possibilities and give my children the tools to reach their dreams as well.  Thanks for holding my hand through the first few years when I had anxiety over the thought of a FAFSA or application essay!   It's no longer a mystery, just a lot of hard work.

Keep it up!

1. My number one, biggest, most important tip is clear as day before she even gives a salutation. She wrote to me on October 26th. In October she already knew the results of her hard work.  Right there is my BIGGEST tip for successful college applications!  If you want to rest easy, get those applications done EARLY in senior year.  I usually suggest that you work on college applications during the first week of senior year, but some colleges actually have even earlier deadlines.

2. If your child is extremely bright, look at the National Merit Scholarship and what it requires.  Being a National Merit Scholar, or Commended Student, takes planning and reaps big rewards.

3. Apply to Reach, Fit, and Safety schools, at least 4 to 8 colleges, both private and public schools.

4. Research CLEP, AP, and Community College options carefully, to see what is best for your student.

5. Create great homeschool records, including a transcript, course descriptions, reading list, and activity list. Take this free class on course descriptions to learn more about homeschool records that open doors.

6. Get the help you need and crave.  You don't have to go alone through this challenging time.  I'll be happy to encourage you! Check out the Gold Care Club if you are interested.  Make sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter, so you can watch the calendar for important dates.

Now remember, you can do this!  Sure, Rebecca's daughter is both beautiful AND brilliant, but that's not the whole reason why she was successful.  Her applications were successful because she chose perfect colleges that wanted her daughter, and applied in a timely manner will well-prepared homeschool records. You can do that too!

Huddle over!  Hut, hut, hike!  Go out there and get 'em, team!  You can do this too!

Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is so much freedom in homeschooling!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!

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How to Assess College Admission Requirements

How to Assess College Admission Requirements

How to understand college admission requirements.

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Dual Enrollment Senior Year

Dual Enrollment Senior Year
Senior year for most college-bound homeschoolers is usually packed with college applications, scholarship essays, forms to fill out, and choices to make. It’s always a busy time! In fact, it's SUCH a busy time, it's hard to fit it all in! Particularly when your child is doing dual enrollment...

“Senior year seems like a really busy time. Is it possible for a student to successfully do both dual enrollment and complete scholarship applications and essays, etc.?” - Mary

Dual enrollment is when a high school junior or senior attends community college and gets both high school and college credits at the same time for their work. If your child is doing dual enrollment, chances are their schedule is packed, and you never really know when those midterms and finals are coming up; it’s a very intense time. For that reason, I strongly encourage you to complete your entire application process during the summer between junior and senior year.

You may not be able to upload your college applications to a school’s website during the summer, but complete everything anyway. Write the essays, and make sure your application is all ready to go. It’s helpful to pick up a paper copy of a school’s application at a college fair, so that you can fill it out during the summer as practice, and you’re ready to just type it in when it’s time to fill it in for real.

For students doing dual enrollment, it’s possible to fill out school and scholarship applications during senior year, but you really have to set aside entire, multiple weekends in a row to get it done. Most 18-year-old young adults will balk at giving away their weekends to fill out college applications, so I don’t recommend this method! Plan ahead, and work during the summer so that the fall goes smoothly.


Would you please rate my website at Homeschool Top Sites!
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Important Dates for 2013

Important Dates for 2013
The New Year is here, and it’s time to mark up your new 2013 calendar!

Include any upcoming exams or college preparations you need to make for your high school student.  Don’t miss these deadlines, because many of them are inflexible!  Check the links below for further information about each test.

Deadline                                 Test or Activity
January                                    Find a college fair to attend in your area

January 11th                             Register for ACT test on Feb 9th

February                                  11th graders schedule college visits

February                                  Find summer jobs and enrichment programs

Feb 8th                                     Register for SAT test on March 9th

March 1st                                 Homeschool deadline for AP exams

March 8th                                 Register for the ACT test on April 13th

April                                        Update reading list, transcript, record keeping

April                                        plan graduation for seniors, order diploma

April 5th                                   Register for the SAT test on May 4th

April 5th                                   Register for SAT Subject Tests on May 4th

May 1st                                    Seniors must decide which college they choose

May 2nd                                   Register for the SAT test on June 1st

May 2nd                                   Register for SAT Subject Tests on June 1st

May 3rd                                    Register for the ACT test on June 8th

May 6th – 10th                          AP exams

May 13th – 17th                        AP exams

June 1st                                    Ask local school about PSAT registration

July                                          Update reading list, transcript, record keeping

August                                    Start college application essays

September 1st                          Ask local school about PSAT registration

October 16th and 19th              PSAT Test

For more information about important tests:
ACT Test Dates
SAT Test Dates
AP Test Dates
PSAT Test Dates

Your best strategy for keeping all the balls in the air is preparation.  The HomeScholar Gold Care Club will give you the comprehensive help you need to homeschool high school.
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